Oklahoma City is offering $109,000 to the owner of a shotgun sports shooting range whose lease on public land is being terminated.
Dave Martin opened Quail Ridge Sporting Clays in February 2012 on leased land along SE 149 Street in the West Elm Creek Reservation.
Gunfire almost immediately drew complaints from neighbors.
The Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust proposed moving the range to SE 119 Street, where neighbors would not be so close, but that proposal drew opposition from residents living within about a mile of the site.
When Water Utilities Trust members voted last month to forbid lead shot at the new location, Martin indicated he might have to close, saying he could not “afford to do it without lead. The shooters won't come.”
Shotgun sports shooters prefer lead. They have concerns about accuracy and the potential for damage to their guns from steel shot.
Martin declined to comment on Tuesday.
Being on public land within minutes of downtown Oklahoma City gave Quail Ridge a competitive advantage over other ranges in central Oklahoma.
In a letter last month, a Shawnee law firm that represents Quail Ridge said Martin was looking for other land to purchase to relocate his range.
Under terms of Martin's lease with the Water Utilities Trust, the city must pay Martin for improvements to the site on SE 149.
Besides installing shooting stands, Martin constructed a pavilion and renovated a small house for use as a clubhouse and office.
The Water Utilities Trust said in a letter this week that Martin's construction costs were $126,566.82.
Less $17,402.94 for depreciation, he's owed $109,163.88, the letter said.
In proposing that lead shot be banned, Water Utilities Trust Chairman Pete White said last month that he was concerned about lead left on the ground by shooters.
The lead could be consumed by waterfowl, poisoning the birds and making them easy prey for predators, such as eagles, that would then ingest the lead, he said.
Carolyn Pimsler, who along with neighbors fought against the move to SE 119, said Tuesday that she was “appreciative of the Water Trust for making the right decision for wildlife.”